Documents that ADD VALUE

I would like to share a quote from the book ‘REWORK’ by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, taken from a section called Illusions of agreement.

“The world is littered with dead documents that do nothing but waste people’s time. Reports no one ever reads, diagrams no one looks at, and specs that never resemble the finished product. These things take forever to make but only seconds to forget.”

They argue that the problem with documents like this is they create illusions of agreement, everyone can read them but it’s like reading characters in a book we all see them differently in our minds. Just like this everyone will interpret the documents in a different way. In my experience everyone also learns and takes information in a different way so we need to also accommodate to this – hence I believe that documents should be interactive not just a file or poster on a wall.

It is the same when planning ISO9001 or putting systems into your business don’t just document the status quo think outside the box, ask your people how they interpret the information you are giving out. Find out if what you are doing is working, after all true communication is the response you get.

My advice to you is to treat every opportunity to revisit a process as an information gathering and value adding exercise before you set a system in place.